The Yonkers Tribune has learned that Yonkers Police Detective Ray Montero is seeking to restore his membership with the Police Association of the City of Yonkers, Inc., better known as the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (PBA). Montero asserts he was wrongfully ousted from the PBA due to political differences with, among others, the Yonkers PBA President Keith Olson, and “Olson’s cronies”. The “cronies” are revealed herein. Notice of Petition was with the Chief Clerk Westchester Supreme and County Courts on August 13, 2014. In the Matter of the Application of Raymond Montero, Petitioner for a Judgment Pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules –against – Police Association of the City of Yonkers, Inc., a/k/a Yonkers Police Benevolent Association, respondent.
Montero contends that “Olson and his cronies” conducted unauthorized investigations of him, trumped up charges of misconduct about him over incorrect characterizations of his overtime that are false, among other allegations. To which there is no proof.
The political assassination campaign against Montero, a 26-year veteran of the YPD and the Yonkers PBA, continued unabated and with earnest as Olson conjured up false charges against Montero that improperly would have Montero ousted from the PBA. Since its inception over 100 plus years ago, the PBA had never ousted a member from its ranks. For those PBA members who voted to oust Montero on falsehoods, knowingly or suspecting the bullying tactics against Montero were illegally conducted only besmirched themselves by submitting to the false, erroneous, and trumped up charges. Those alleged charges seem to have been used like a “beard” to legitimize unproven allegations in a character assassination intended to silence an adversary that maintained protocol and standards to which every officer is sworn to uphold.
Det. Montero is highly decorated. He has earned the prestigious Meritorious Service Award, three PBA Presidential Awards for Unit Citations, at minimum nine Commendations in Career, six Certificates of Excellent Police Work, and numerous letters of appreciation from Police Commissioners, and the Westchester County Journal News Award for investigative work.
The legal suit points out that despite having worked amicably with Det. Keith Olson, among others in the Yonkers Police Department Gang Unit as a detective, circumstances would come to sour by late 2009. Montero was determined to seek the position of President of the Yonkers PBA yet chose to run for the office of vice-president in deference to and respect for Olson. Yet that was not good enough for Olson, Olson wanted Michael Farina as his v-p. Montero’s campaign effort earned only the animosity of Olson’s admitted best friends: Sergeant Brian Moran and Lieutenant John Mueller, whose animosity grew as Montero openly criticized Olson for his pattern of kowtowing to then Yonkers Police Commissioner Edmund Hartnett. Montero expressed his concerns specifically when the PBA membership would be coerced to concede to Hartnett, especially when it would come to hurt the PBA membership. Montero won the position of Vice-President. Olson was offended by Montero’s desire to stand up for the PBA membership juxtaposed to Olson’s selfish efforts, which have proven to be for himself and his relatives gaining employment at Yonkers City Hall, and his friends exclusively.
When Montero criticized Hartnett for cutting several police units, including the domestic violence unit, burglary unit, and the community unit that served the public through the Yonkers Police Athletic League, Olson acquiesced and supported Harnett’s cuts without challenge.
Montero’s criticism earned greater hostility from the three “renegade amigos”, Olson, Moran, and Mueller. The pushback was so great, that Olson contrived to exclude Montero from meetings at Yonkers City Hall and in Albany, despite, as PBA Vice-President, having the right to attend. Olson further contrived to assert Montero was derelict to his duties as PBA Vice-President despite Montero complying with all regulations and protocols.
Olson had Mueller call Montero into Mueller’s Office in July 2012 where Mueller was admonished to cease criticizing Hartnett and threatened that if he did not, Montero would be transferred out of the Special Investigations Unit.
When Mueller and Moran learned that Montero was considering to seek the office of PBA President, Olson, Moran, and Mueller conducted an unauthorized investigation concerning overtime slips submitted by Montero. The contention by Olson, Moran, and Mueller that the overtime slip was a “recall” rather than an “extended tour” could have ben adjusted as the “three amigos” wanted except they were so lackadaisical about many of their responsibilities, they did not correct the paper work as protocol demands of them within 24 hours. Instead, the “three amigos” waited weeks for a “make believe issue that they would weeks later challenge by “writing up” Montero for an alleged “mistake”. The “three amigos” do not have the proof to make this assertion. That will come to light in the court case. Even if it could be imagined that Montero did something wrong, as alleged in this circumstance, protocol requires the “three amigos” present their allegations to the Internal Affairs Division (IAD). This was not done. It seems by this very circumstance that Olson, Moran, and Mueller are NOT in compliance. What else have they not complied with? Whose rights did they break within the Yonkers Police Department and within the community at large?
Montero would be reassigned to the Detective Unit under Detective Captain Robert Itzla. Commissioner Hartnett instructed Itzla to make sure Montero would not speak to PBA business. Hartnett also created a situation where Montero would never be afforded any future overtime.
In May of 2011 Olson admitted to Montero that he was written-up for incorrect overtime slips because Montero was critical of Hartnett, Mueller, Olson, and Moran’s conduct and for allegedly speaking to Journal News Reporter Will David about a specific story that Montero denies unequivocally.
Olson precluded Montero from attending PBA activities except for monthly PBA meetings.
The day after Montero refused to debate Olson in the campaign contest for PBA president, Montero found his office had been vandalized.
Montero was soon assigned cases typically accepted on a voluntary basis to police officers on desk duty. Montero was forced to take on these assignments as punishment for his “PBA activities”. It seems under Hartnett, Mueller, Moran, and Olson the right to freedom of expression guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution held no sway at the Yonkers Police Department during Hartnett’s years on the job.
Further attempts to conjure up allegations against Montero continued unabated. Such incidents could have diminished Montero but they have not.
Moran alleged lug nuts on his police vehicle had been loosened by Montero but no proof was ever presented. Mueller asserted a letter threatening him had been received at his home; Mueller insinuated it came from Montero. No such proof has come to light.
At the 2014 PBA meeting, when Montero attempted to depart the meeting to use the men’s room facility, he was prevented from leaving by Police Officer William Pataky who threatened Montero to not leave. Pataky used all sorts of vile epithets leading up to a pushing and shoving match instigated by Pataky against Montero. Pataki and PBA Legal Counsel Quinn assert Montero punched Pataky in the face. A tape of what happened, was allegedly illegally retrieved at the behest of Olson from the Dunwoodie Golf Club premises by a few officers advised to follow Olson’s instructions. Dunwoodie is under the jurisdiction of Westchester County Police and Olson had seemingly no compunction to have his members seize county evidence for his own purpose. Yonkers Tribune learned months ago that the tape shows many men pushing and shoving. Montero is not recognized in that film. The film was apprehended in Larchmont, NY, and is presently in the possession of Yonkers Internal Affairs Division. There is no evidence of Montero hitting Pataky and no report of such an incident filed with IAD.
Olson directed the unlawful seizure of the tape. Upon learning of Olson’s conduct, IAD recommended Olson be disciplined, but he has not been disciplined.
Olson would attempt to defend his conduct by alleging false charges against Montero.
Olson’s petition alleges that on numerous occasions Montero provided information to this publisher / editor, Hezi Aris, for the Blue Truth series of articles. Montero is known to Aris but Montero is known as a friend; Montero is not the source to the Blue Truth series of articles. Montero was approached years ago to corroborate “facts” to which Aris was not 100 percent certain, but be assured he was not the only person approached over many years. Olson has accused Aris of posting information on the Yonkers Tribune and The Westchester Guardian that Olson asserts came from Montero, as in the case of the Blue Truth series, the source was NOT Montero. It came from another person(s).
Further allegations assert that articles derogatory to Hartnett, Olson, Mueller, and Moran were given to Aris by Montero. Not even close. The history revealed in the Blue Truth series of articles were learned and coalesced into the Blue Truth series over many years of personal, on the scene attendance at events and circumstances where the facts were gathered by Aris for this series.
The circumstances that have allegedly played out as described herein reveal systemic issues of great concern with respect to freedoms disallowed though guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution with the Yonkers Police Department by the “three amigos” renegades and the former PC Hartnett that gave them a sense of power over fellow police officers and the disrespect of law by an internal group of “cronies” who dismiss internal directives by the present Yonkers Police Commissioner Charles Gardner. At issue now is who is protecting the “three amigos”? Why are they around? There are even rumors of Mueller intending to replace PC Gardner.
The travesty that has been permitted to endure under this administration for over 2 ½ years point to Yonkers City Hall having insinuated into this mess of their doing. Who is behind this this subterfuge, what is its purpose, why does it continue unabated, and who is pulling the strings that undermine the Yonkers Police Department from maintaining the discipline it needs to function best?